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Chief Officer Retiring

Chief Officer Mrs. Sonia McLaughlin, Cert. Hon., JP

Career civil servant and Chief Officer, Mrs. Sonia McLaughlin, Cert. Hon., JP, will retire on 11 September 2014 after 43 years in the Cayman Islands civil service. She is currently on pre-retirement leave for six months.

The longest serving civil servant presently employed, Mrs. McLaughlin led the Treasury as Accountant General until 2004 (the first woman in this post), before being promoted to Deputy Financial Secretary and Chief Officer in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the post that she retires from. She was also the first woman Acting Financial Secretary to be sworn in as Temporary Third Official Member in the Legislative Assembly in the mid-2000s.

"I enjoyed working with Mrs McLaughlin and wish to extend my thanks and appreciation for her many years of service to the Government and people of the Cayman Islands. She epitomises diligence and hard work and has received many merit-based promotions in the civil service over the years," Deputy Governor and Head of the Civil Service, Hon. Franz Manderson, Cert. Hon., JP, comments.

He adds, "Her dedication, humility and love for her job, have remained undiminished over the years, and are legend in the civil service."

Joining government fresh out of high school when she was 16, Mrs. McLaughlin quickly became an integral and influential player in the changes that the civil service has undergone over the last four decades.

Notable developments to which she has contributed include the implementation of the Public Management and Finance Law (PM&FL) in 2004, and the introduction of the Public Service Management Law (PSML) in 2006, elaborates Financial Secretary, Mr. Kenneth Jefferson, JP. She has also served on the Boards of various public entities, the most notable being the Public Service Pensions Board, where she is Deputy Chairperson, Cayman Airways and recently CINICO, he said.

In tandem with the evolution of the public sector, Mrs McLaughlin also strived to develop her own professional skills. Some years ago, she secured a MBA degree while continuing to work full-time.

She joined the service on 1 March 1971, during an era when government's auditors came from Jamaica to ensure accounts here were in order. This was also a time, before the advent of computer-generated records, when ledgers were painstakingly written and maintained manually, Mr. Jefferson recalls.

It was in producing government's annual financial statements that Mrs. McLaughlin showed her mettle. As Accountant General, this was one of her primary responsibilities and she ably led her team to produce these in a manner consistent with Government's needs.

On 11 September 2014, 'Mrs. Sonia' will formally retire upon attaining the normal retirement age. In consideration of a career that has spanned more than four decades, Mrs. McLaughlin has been granted six months' pre-retirement leave which began on 11 March 2014.


For further information contact: Bina Mani